DIY Wedding Tips & Tricks

By Copeland Burns

My husband and I met while living and working in Yosemite National Park. We soon became friends, and three months after our first meeting, we fell for each other on a last-minute road trip to Texas. That same wild, spontaneous spirit has been kept alive for the span of our entire relationship, and, if anything, it’s only gotten more fervent. This mutual love for adventure was one of the many reasons why when he proposed to me last winter, I couldn’t possibly say no.

When I first began my wedding planning journey, the first thing I noticed was the price tag that comes with a dreamy, Pinterest wedding. Being nomads, most of my husband and I’s earnings usually go towards trips and the gear needed to go on them. Our tight budget led me to find some interesting wedding loopholes such as booking an Air BnB as our reception event space, using Etsy to find a wedding dress, and turning to Goodwill for just about all of my decor needs. By keeping in mind the thrifty tips below when decorating our event space, I was able to create my dream wedding on a minimalist budget.


1. Get Creative

Instead of spending money on a traditional guest book, I opted for a decor piece that would be a sweet display of love in our home. I liked the idea of having a treasured keepsake that tells our story rather than a boring book of names left to gather dust on a coffee table or at the bottom of a drawer.

By implementing a little creativity while hunting for your reception needs, you’ll be able to not only save money, but also occasionally find sentimental treasures like this one.


2. Functional Decor

Another thing I noticed when I first began wedding planning was that there was a LOT more to it than I thought. Every detail of a wedding comes with a whole list of nuances to work through and organize. So, whenever I could, I would try and kill two birds with one stone. Introducing: my gift table.

By using a thrifted suitcase as the focus of this table, I didn’t have to go all out on decor to fill the space. As an added bonus, It made for a quick cleanup and storage of our gifts once the party was over.


3. Multi-use Items

One of my biggest qualms with the wedding industry is how unsustainable it is. Hundreds, and often times even thousands of dollars are spent on wedding items that will only be used one time before either being thrown away or put in a china cabinet to gather dust. That’s why, when it came to our dinnerware, I chose to thrift all of it. This hack definitely took the longest, spanning the length of every weekend in summer combined, but the mis-matched details turned out to be my favorite part of our reception space, and I cannot wait to use them in our home.

A few more multi-use hacks you could use are:

  • Replacing your dance floor with a cute, thrifted rug to be put in your bedroom later.
  • Using thrifted picture frames as table numbers or signage to use as decor in your home with pictures from your magical day.
  • Thrifting candle holders to line your dinner table with during the holidays


4. DIY

This last hack is a bit of a no-brainer, but it was also the most fun to do when planning my wedding! Before buying any decor at all, I always asked myself “can I make this?” If the answer was yes, I always made it. My favorite, staple decor pieces were my signage that I upcycled from thrifted mirrors and picture frames.

There are thousands of other DIY tutorials online to choose from when planning your own wedding that will save you big in the long run, regardless of skill level. Up-cycling thrifted pieces is by far the most simple way to save money while planning for your big day, and the possibilities of what you can create are truly endless.

These tips can be combined and customized to fit every wedding style at every wedding budget, big or small, to personalize and fully decorate your event space. I encourage every engaged couple I know to take these steps into consideration so that they can save for the event that really matters, escaping with their new spouse to celebrate their love for each other on a romantic honeymoon. Is there anything dreamier than that?